ResourcesQ to help Central Highlands
LOCAL community and industry representatives from Central Queensland will help shape a 30-year vision for the resources sector to drive growth and create jobs in Queensland at a ResourcesQ workshop held in Emerald today.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the workshop formed part of the Newman Government's strong plan for the resources industry and would deliver a brighter future for rural and regional Queensland.
"We committed at the 2012 election to grow resources as one of Queensland's four economic pillars," Mr Cripps said.
"The $37.9 billion sector contributes one in every four dollars to the state's economic activity and supports one in every five jobs, so it's vital we have a strong, competitive and agile industry.
"The forum held in Emerald today provided us with a better understanding of regional issues and opportunities for the sector in Central Queensland."
He said Central Queensland was a "world-ranking producer and exporter of coal, a major centre for minerals processing and has significant coal seam gas resources".
"Within the 30-year horizon for our strategic vision for the sector, this region will experience great transformation with the development of coal resources in the Galilee and potential new resources such as unconventional gas are explored and realised," Mr Cripps said.
"This initiative will drive economic growth and create jobs, so it is important we hear from our local resource companies, councils, businesses, training organisations and infrastructure providers.
"This is the first time a state-level strategic visioning and action plan process has been undertaken for resources in Queensland, highlighting the failure by Labor to plan effectively for orderly and sustainable growth in the sector.
"It is a Can-Do approach which shows that only the LNP has a strong plan for the future of Queensland and the resources industry."
Mr Cripps said the resources sector contributed significantly to the economy in Central Queensland.
"The resources sector in Central Queensland employs almost 9,000 full-time people and contributes $3.4 billion into the state's economy, with around $1.5 billion invested directly into local communities," he said.
"The sector also indirectly creates 34,645 local jobs and $2.2 billion to the regional economy through local purchases.
"This workshop builds upon previous input from resource industry and supply chain leaders as well as four workshops already held in Mount Isa, Cairns, Gladstone and Roma."
More information about the ResourcesQ initiative is available at: www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/resourcesq
Mr Cripps also addressed around 60 students from throughout the region at a Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy awards ceremony at Emerald State High School as part of a joint Queensland Resources Council and Queensland Government initiative which provides pathways for students into resources sector careers.
Mr Cripps said a better skilled and more innovative workforce was vital to the long-term growth of the resources sector and the significant economic benefits and jobs it delivered for Queenslanders.
"We have signed a ResourcesQ Partnership Agreement with the Queensland Resources Council, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association," he said.
"One key action of the agreement is to examine options to develop a Resources Skills Centre of Excellence to make Queensland a global hub for resource industry skills and innovation.
"The next generation of resource workers, researchers and academics will be a source of innovation and it is critical that Queensland provides opportunities for these skills to be developed."
The Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy is a Queensland Resources Council and Queensland Government partnership that works closely with resource companies and 34 QMEA schools across the state to provide pathways for students into resources sector careers.